International Criminal Court’s First Trial to Start Monday
“On Monday, the ICC will begin proceedings in its first trial ever – Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo will stand trial for using child soldiers during the Congo’s civil war. (As TRIAL notes, Lubanga’s group, the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), is also accused of massacring civilians). The legal documents filed before in the case are available from the ICC’s website, here.
As Kevin Heller has observed, there have been some problems with the prosecution, including the prosecution’s failure to disclose materially exculpatory evidence and a change in the lead prosecuting attorney less than a month before the commencement of trial. Hopefully by now they’ve been ironed out; as this is the ICC’s first case, it is essential for the court’s credibility for things to run smoothly. It’s also an important case:
the Congolese civil war may be the worst humanitarian crisis on Earh, and bringing some accountability to those most responsible for the conflict is a step in the right direction. Moreover, conscripting child soldiers is unmistakeably heinous; for a sense of the impact of the UPC’s forcible conscription of children into paramilitary service, it’s imperative to look at Bukeni Waruzi’s work for WITNESS – which Chris Michael summarizes here.”
Posted on 25/01/2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on International Criminal Court’s First Trial to Start Monday.